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partner marketing man with icons

One of my favorite movie genres is the buddy cop comedy. It’s great to watch partners with diverse backgrounds, attitudes, and approaches come together to solve a major case. Each bring their unique strengths and challenges, but ultimately accomplish more together than they ever could alone. This is, oddly enough, how I feel about through-partner digital channel marketing.

As different as they are, partners and brands complement each other. Partners can engage at a personal level that brands often can’t. Brands have the resources to create content and messaging that resonates and directly supports their product. When executed effectively, through-partner marketing can give a customer the best of both worlds – the weight of a brand and the unique engagement of a partner.

Using quotes from some of my favorite buddy cop comedies (thanks IMDB), let’s look at five ways brands and partners can work together to crack the toughest customers.


1.  Get your message straight (Hot Fuzz)

Nicholas Angel: It’s Frank! He’s appointed himself Judge, Jury and Executioner.

Danny Butterman: He is not Judge Judy and Executioner.

One of my favorite examples of how easy it is to misunderstand something simple. Similarly, it’s easy for a p partner to misinterpret the nuance or details of brand messaging. An integrated campaign, with partners executing campaigns with content created by the brand, ensures engagements that accurately represent the product and the brand.

2.  A coordinated look and feel (Men in Black)

    Agent J: [suited up] You know what the difference is between you and me?

   I make this look GOOD.

Much like the messaging, campaign design is crucial to a successful campaign. Carefully executed through-partner marketing campaigns can accommodate partner personalization, brand content, and design concepts that enhance the campaign messaging. With a little planning, your campaign can be as smooth as Will Smith in Men in Black.

3.  A different messenger (The Heat)

     Ashburn: I was actually married for six-some years.

    Mullins: Was he a hearing man?

This one is a little mean, but it always makes me laugh. It also illustrates a potential problem you can address with through-partner marketing. Brands can tire people out. People are often inundated with brand messaging. It’s likely a customer will look at a campaign coming from a partner differently and actually listen when it comes from someone new.

4.  A trusted source (Lethal Weapon)

     Roger Murtaugh: Well, I’ll tell you what.

You make it through tomorrow without killing anybody, especially me, or yourself, then I’ll start trusting you.

As Murtaugh and Riggs taught us so many years ago, trust is earned. Brands have often earned that trust. Partners build on the brand experience and the brand adds weight to the partner credibility. A coordinated campaign with a trusted brand can only enhance a partner’s marketing efforts.

5.  Empower your partners (Beverly Hills Cop)

     Detective Rosewood: How did he know we were here?

     Sergeant Taggart: I let you drive.

Ah, we wind it up with Beverly Hills Cop. (Can’t tell you how many NSFW quotes I considered using.) Anyway, with a combination of marketing automation, content, and guidance, brands can give partners all the tools they need to execute a successful campaign without the time and expense of running it for them.


As shown by some of my favorite movies, a partnership is often the best way to solve a difficult problem. A thoughtful, targeted through-partner campaign can provide trusted brand messaging and content and help accelerate new customer acquisitions for partners.

Looking for a way to jump start your partner relationship with a campaign that throws down like Tango and Cash? We’d love to talk to you. Contact us today.

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